Five ways Alberta could retaliate against BC's pipeline obstacles

Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland speaks as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer looks on at the closing of the NAFTA meetings in Montreal Quebec on 29 January 2018

Trudeau gets questions about veterans, racism, pipelines at Edmonton town hall

"We know that getting our oil resources to new markets across the Pacific is absolutely essential.We need this pipeline and we're going to move forward with it responsibly like I committed to", Trudeau was reported to state. Her government held an emergency cabinet meeting to look at ways to respond to B.C.'s proposal.

The B.C. government proposed a restriction on increased shipments of diluted bitumen, until the "behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood".

Here's the other problem: There is no deadline to keep that promise, and the project could run out of money before Trudeau delivers.

The B.C. government hasn't made any comment on Alberta's move to suspend talks. Canada's pipeline disaster is deteriorating into a national unity crisis in addition to a financial one, because Canada's land-locked oil is deeply discounted, resulting in lost revenue, taxes and royalties in the tens of millions of dollars a day.

Two Fort St. John companies have joint venture projects that have been selected as contractors to build segments of the pipeline in the province's interior. If their government is launching a trade war, it will have consequences for everyone.

Premier Rachel Notley says her government is moving ahead with measures against response to that province's attempt to impose a ban on crude flowing to the coast.

Earlier this week, the B.C. NDP government announced it was planning new restrictions on the movement of diluted bitumen from Alberta through pipeline or rail, restrictions that appear created to try to halt the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline. "In the coming days and weeks, there may be more", Notley warned.

Trudeau may face criticism about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, after telling an Edmonton radio station yesterday that the project is in the national interest and will go ahead despite B.C.'s efforts to block it.

"Imagine some intermittent withholding of supply, what that would do to retail gas prices in the Lower Mainland, that are already $1.80 a litre", Kenney said in an interview.

"The B.C. government took this action with no provocation and nearly no warning", Notley said."The government of Alberta will not, we can not, let this unconstitutional attack on jobs and working people stand".

He added that without Trans Mountain, B.C. would need to get tankers to the Port of Burnaby, which he says would be even more risky.

"That pipeline is going to get built", he said, noting the situation between Alberta and B.C. on the matter may require federal intervention. "This is a Canada-BC issue", she said.

"This is an existential moment for Confederation", Gilborn said. "Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on good trading relationships", she said. "I'm not going to opine on disagreements between the provinces in this case", he said. "This is worse, times ten".

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